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Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialty at a Glance

Students interested in a career in obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) should take sub-internships that improve the breadth and depth of general medical knowledge and sharpen clinical skills.


Match Statistics

Mean USMLE Step 2 CK score: 249
25th percentile USMLE Step 2 CK: 240
75th percentile USMLE Step 2 CK: 258
Average number of research experiences: 4.4
Average number of abstracts, presentations and publications: 6.8
Program signals for 2023 match: 3 gold, 12 silver (18 total)

  • Why would a student choose OB-GYN?

    OB-GYN at its core provides a mixture of clinic and surgical experience. Caring for patients and their pregnancies is just one aspect of this diverse field. There is also the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with patients. There are so many benefits to OB-GYN including the ability to pursue one of many subspecialities (gynecology oncology, urogynecology and maternal-fetal medicine are just a few examples). OB-GYNs have the privilege of caring for people in some of the most vulnerable times in their lives. If you have a passion for reproductive justice, caring for marginalized people and improving maternal mortality rates then it might be the specialty for you.

  • Are there things students should be doing in Phase 1 (year 1 and 2) to prepare for this specialty?

    Students should pursue opportunities to shadow physicians locally and get involved with the student interest group. Research, scholarly activity, and participation in advocacy groups are also highly encouraged.

  • What electives are recommended for students pursuing OB-GYN?

    It is important to have at least one subspecialty elective:

    • High-risk obstetrics
    • Family planning
    • Minimally invasive gynecology
    • Gynecology oncology
    • Urogynecology

    The ultrasound elective is also a great end-of-year option to help get you ready for intern year.

  • What sub-I do you recommend for those pursuing OB-GYN?

    The OB-GYN sub-I at Eskenazi Health Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital is highly recommended. If there are no available spots prior to application season due to number of applicants, please consider doing the high risk obstetrics elective early in the fourth year as a surrogate. This will provide an excellent clinical opportunity while still allowing you to work with faculty to obtain letters of recommendation.

  • Is an away rotation recommended?

    Away rotations for this specialty are not universally recommended. It is recommended if you have a strong preference for a specific program, or if you are interested in moving to a different region in the US where you have no specific ties to that area to help prove you are willing to relocate.

  • How important is research? Does it have to be specific to OB-GYN?

    For this specialty, it is important to be a part of research in some capacity, especially if you are considering a large academic residency program. However, the research you do does not have to be specialty specific.

  • How many years is residency training for OB-GYN?

    The duration of this training is four years. Residents can pursue fellowship training following the completion of residency in maternal-fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology, minimally invasive gynecology, urogynecology and complex family planning. Fellowships range from two to three years and have a variable research requirement.

  • Are there any specialty-specific recommendations regarding letters of recommendation?

    The standardized letter of evaluation (SLOE) is highly recommended and will eventually be a requirement for OB-GYN applicants. Otherwise, focusing on obtaining letters from OB-GYN physicians that can attest to your work ethic and clinical acumen is recommended.

  • What are some useful resources for students considering OB-GYN?
    • Student Interest Groups

    • Shadowing opportunities

    • Formalized mentorship

  • How does career mentoring at IU School of Medicine work in OB-GYN?

    Medical student affairs’ comprehensive career development program is formalized and integrated into all four years of the curriculum at all nine campuses. Specialty exploration starts with discussing it with your lead advisor. In addition to lead advisors, students can interact with the career development team during all phases of medical school for career coaching and support as well as professional development opportunities and guidance for exploring specialty options.